Things I thought, and things others thought, whilst in the Yorkshire Dales:
1) Whenever God compares us to stuff in the Bible he uses really weak frail images. We are like sheep, who are very stupid as we discovered as we tramped through many fields of the silly creatures. We are like grass, which is small and fragile and frankly withers away. We are dust. Puff and we’re gone. Sensing the theme? When God compares himself to stuff, so our little brains can grasp a little corner of what he is like, He gets to be solid BIG things. Rocks, mountains, a shepherd a refuge, a fortress, a green pine tree (prizes if you can find that in the Bible, it is there.) All images of strength and permanence. You’d think he was trying to tell us something eh.
2) Apparently I’m really easy to insult (this was explained to me as a very good thing and may explain the comments that follow), have a weird nose and an arrogant walk (quite pleased with that one as I’ve never ever been called arrogant before).
3) Meandering around the dales for a week with 3 other friends, climbing over dry stone walls, walking through fields of sheep and sitting on hillocks eating sandwiches makes you feel like you are in an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, a not unpleasant feeling. (unlike watching an episode of…)
4) It’s not possible to go to Wenselydale without saying at regular intervals, “More cheese Gromit”, in a fake Northern accent.
5) Visiting a local fish and chip van that arrives at the village green every Thursday night at 8.30pm is lots of fun, and slightly surreal.
6) Asking for a cappuccino in a Yorkshire pub is probably a bit stupid. (see no 1 again)
7) Laughing until you hurt is a good way to spend a week.
8) Neighbours is SO much better now Susan has returned. But Karl is a little bit too needy and desperate.
9) Grace is really the only thing that will get us home. And oh do I need it. I am very sinful. Thankfully where sin increases, grace increases too.
10)If for this life only we have hope we are to be pited… A lot. This living God’s way is really dumb if it’s only for this life. After all why shouldn’t I do what I want to do right now? But that’s not the point. There is a maker, there is a book that describes who we are and why we are here. And heaven is real. Something I must repeat twice daily so it sinks into my small brain (see no 1 again)
- spiritual direction
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